It wasn’t until we walked through the doors of the concert hall in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre that we fully understood the massive scale of what the HKSMSA has achieved. In the seventy years since its foundation, the Hong Kong Schools Music and Speech Association has gone from strength to strength, growing into something titanic and never has this been more apparent than on the evening of Sunday, the 9th of September. And the best part is that we got be a part of it. Not only as spectators, but on stage as well!
Over the hot summer months, we got to work with close to a hundred previous Speech Festival winners, who would rehearse, recite and ultimately perform in the Speech and Drama Medley at the 70th Anniversary Gala event in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Of course, there was a sense of excitement all through the rehearsal process. And as the big day drew nearer, that excitement turned into something palpable. But nothing could have prepared us for the sheer magnitude of what was happening all around us on the day of the event.
Hundreds of students, carrying hundreds of instruments of varying sizes, warming up voices to sing or speak, technical crew pushing buttons or whispering into headsets, coaches, conductors and directors giving some last minute advice or words of encouragement, all being gracefully and efficiently overseen by the ever present staff of the HKSMSA, all gathered in this one place in celebration of the arts. Guest artists and dignitaries, including the Chief Executive, Mrs. Carrie Lam, graced the stage with their presence to say a few words and present souvenirs. Add two thousand audience members to the mix, and the result is simply magical.
It’s easy to forget the scope of the project you’re working on when all your attention is focused on the task at hand. In our case, that task was to put together a showcase of aspiring young performers and speakers and we often found ourselves lost in the enthusiasm, patience and pure talent of each of these students. But this only solidified the general theme of the entire process: a large scale celebration of even the smallest of voices. And that is a theme we can get behind.
We would like to congratulate the HKSMSA and its staff for their tireless efforts to make the youth of Hong Kong heard and, of course, the students who take part in the Festivals every year, both Speech and Music for having the courage to take to the stage to show the world what they’re made of.
We are so very proud to say that we could be a small part of this wonderful experience and we’d like to thank the HKSMSA for the opportunity to partner with and support them through this process. We wish them a truly happy birthday and another fruitful and prosperous 70 years.